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Updates regarding FMLA record-keeping practices

Pennsylvania employers may be aware that they have Family and Medical Leave Act record-keeping obligations. Because employers are responsible to abide by these laws, they need to know when they consist of.

The FMLA records must consist of basic payroll information, any data about compensation paid to each employee, and the amount of hours and pay pertaining to designation of FMLA leave if the sum is less than a full workday, such as intermittent FMLA leave. However, employers must keep their employees' medical records separate from their work-related files because of confidentiality rules. When it comes to the manner in which employees' records are stored, employers can opt to store them electronically or as hard copies, as long as they can be copied or reviewed, and readily available for inspection and transcription by a Department of Labor official.

Employers are also required to save all written notices they have given to their employees and keep copies of any written notices they received from their employees. Records of disputes that arise between an employee and the employer, as well as written statements from either pertaining to FMLA leave-related issues must also be filed. Records may be reproduced, as long as they are legible and can be identified by a pay period or date. Employers are responsible to keep their employees' records for no less than three years.

Certain employees who need to take time off from work for medical purposes may be eligible for benefits provided by the FMLA. Under this federal statute, eligible employees may take time off from work for medical reasons, either for themselves or a family member, or for the adoption or birth of a child. Employees who were denied this right might wish to discuss their concerns with an attorney to see what recourse they may have.

Source: HR Morning, "9 FMLA record-keeping requirements employers need to know", Christian Schappel, Dec. 7, 2016

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